Champions League holders Chelsea suffered their first group stage defeat in two years as they slipped to a 1-0 loss away at Juventus on Wednesday night.
Thomas Tuchel’s side had suffered a first loss of the season at home to Manchester City on Saturday and were dealt a further blow for the trip to Turin by the loss of a few key men, with Reece James and Mason Mount absent through injury, while N’Golo Kante was ruled out following a positive covid test.
Both sides had claimed victory in their opening game on matchday one and perhaps appeared happy with a point against their biggest group rivals, with the first-half producing little in the way of goalmouth action.
In truth, it was the European champions who dominated proceedings and possession, yet they struggled to convert that into chances, while the best opening of the half fell to Federico Chiesa who curled his effort wide from the angle.
The Italian had been a bright spark in that first period and took just under 10 seconds of the second-half to deservedly get himself on the scoresheet, latching onto Federico Bernardeschi’s through ball almost straight from kick off and firing into the roof of the net to stun the away side.
With the Italian giants happy to hang on to that narrow lead, the remainder of the encounter saw Chelsea attempt to breakdown a typically stubborn backline, with arguably the biggest chance falling to Romelu Lukaku in the closing stages, only for the Belgian to uncharacteristically fire over on the turn from just inside the box.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) September 29, 2021
In the end, the visitors were forced to leave empty-handed and suffer a second successive defeat in all competitions, with Tuchel admitting afterwards that his side were ‘mentally slow’ against Max Allegri’s side.
“I think we started not sharp enough,” Tuchel told BT Sport.
”The first 12 to 15 minutes we could have harmed them much more. There was so much space for dangerous balls into the box and ask more questions.
“We struggled to create our own rhythm and intensity because they were so deep and passive. We were lacking runs. We were so good in training yesterday and not good enough, not free enough today. I don’t know why.
“I felt we were a bit slow and tired, mentally slow, decision making. That’s why it’s a strange one to analyse.”
Chelsea’s final game prior to the international break sees them take on winless Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.